• Thu
  • Aug 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:54am

Unbiased ruling for island waste site

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 May, 2013, 5:27am

I read with interest the articles in Lai See about which technology is best to treat Hong Kong's municipal waste.

Experts are quoted advocating both "traditional" mass burning incinerators and more recent "plasma" gasification technologies. The vast majority of Hong Kong people simply do not have the knowledge to judge, but they do have deep suspicions about the government's case to locate the first such facility in one of Hong Kong's last remaining unspoilt landscapes.

Who in their right mind would select a pristine coastline as the preferred site for a large industrial plant if alternative locations exist, which they clearly do - the three existing landfills being the most logical? This also ignores two other key points, namely that the site at the unspoilt island of Shek Kwu Chau will cost every taxpayer more than other options and take longer to bring into operation.

The case for selecting Shek Kwu Chau is flawed and suspicions over the government's motives will remain.

The flaws are clear: cost, time and a completely unsuitable location. What responsible planning authority would approve a 13.65 hectare reclamation for an incinerator immediately adjacent to a coastal protection zone, upon which, according to the outline zoning plan, "only development that is needed to support the conservation of the existing natural landscape or scenic quality of the area … will be permitted".

The government stubbornly refuses to consider these arguments and persists with lame excuses, including the most ridiculous of all, a "balanced distribution of waste facilities" - meaning, if an area has not yet been ruined, it is only fair that it should now be ruined.

Hong Kong, unlike any other city in the region, is blessed with a stunning cityscape, a splendid harbour and some magnificent landscape, all compressed into a tiny area and easily accessible to all Hongkongers. The few remaining areas of outstanding natural beauty such as South Lantau (including Shek Kwu Chau) are for all Hong Kong people to enjoy and should be preserved for future generations.

The government must break from the previous administration to show that it genuinely represents the best interests of Hong Kong citizens. One way to restart the debate is to invite a truly independent expert to review the options.

Internationally recognised organisations should be invited to study the options and present unbiased findings before any commitments are made and any works are started.

Continued reliance on the Environmental Protection Department and its own consultants is unacceptable.

Gina Chan Fung-chun, Sai Wan Ho


Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Politics Today App: New App that uses twitter in an intelligent way. U.S. Politics news and analysis in real-time.
Politics Today continuously scans custom-created lists of news sources, individual news entities, bloggers, and opinion leaders publishing on Twitter and displays Articles, Videos and other content in a user-friendly way.
The App's user interface is well designed and makes it easy to read articles and view videos on the iPad, simple and efficient.
Link = bit.ly/politics-app
This is one of the best US politics Apps on the iTunes Store. All their Apps are on www.algoryt.hm
An offer of a FREE demonstration plasma gasification plant to be built in HKG is on the table- why has ENB not taken up the win-win offer ? Teesside gasplasma plant will be operational 2014 with 2nd plant confirmed and UK Cabinet office signed up for electricity offtake. Solena/ British Airways gasplasma plant operational 2015 + ten major world airlines signed up for MSW to biojetfuel plants.
Extract of email to Prof ChiSun Poon incinerator supporter from HKPolytechnic Uni 18 May 2012
Advanced Plasma Power UK invite to UK
I am sorry that you haven't the time to visit. To bring you up to speed I attach some literature that may serve to enlighten you on full scale commitments
We are to embark on a landfill mining project in Belgium processing some 17m tonnes of MSW into power and horticulture outputs, the UK's first MSW full scale plant ..+ a prestigious partnership with the UK National grid for BIO SNG production.. we have a heritage of 50 years and over 120 plants globally at full scale either gasification of plasma. We wish to help HK with our knowledge and guaranteed technology via a small scale 150ktpa plant initially, FINANCED BY US and guaranteed by Technip. This would follow the same vein as NYC as their total arising's are much the same. We would then look to expand into large volumes as our technology is infinitely scalable with low emissions (no dioxins or furans) and no ash unlike MBI. The process has 30% NEE being twice as efficient as an incinerator.


SCMP.com Account